Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.
In this busy, hyperconnected and fast paced life most of us are living in the autopilot mode, where life is controlling us and not vice versa. The rush and the auto- pilot mode make us lose ourselves. We are living but are not aware of our present moment. Each living moment is preoccupied by the thoughts of past or future, stress, anxiety but the awareness of present. Most of us are rushing through life without stopping to notice much.
If we pay more attention to the present (our own thoughts and feelings), and to the world around we can improve our mental wellbeing.
This awareness can make us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. We call this awareness as ‘Mindfulness’.
What is mindfulness?
Merriam- Webster dictionary defines mindfulness as:
“ The practice of maintaining a non-judgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of ones thoughts, emotions or experiences on a moment to moment basis.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, says, “Mindfulness shows us what is happening in our bodies, our emotions, our minds and in the world. Through mindfulness, we avoid harming ourselves and others.”
As we become more aware of the present, we start to experience with a fresh perspective the things we have been taking for granted. We learn to understand ourselves better. This increases our capacity to regulate our emotions, decrease stress, anxiety and depression. We learn to focus our attention, also to observe our thoughts and feelings without being judgmental. With this we become more present in our life, take better decisions, improve our relations and become fully engaged in life.
Mindfulness may not be the answer to everything, it surely can improve our mental wellbeing.
How to be more mindful?
The dynamic equilibrium between mind, body and soul forms the core of life. Any shift in this equilibrium leads to anxiety, stress and depression. To get control of our life it is important that we maintain this equilibrium and practice:
- Mindfulness of body
- Mindfulness of mind
- Mindfulness of soul
The first step to be mindful is to keep reminding ourselves to notice our thoughts, feelings, and the world around us.
When we start to practice mindfulness we often hear people saying,
“I can’t do this, I am too anxious.”
“I can’t do this, I am too stressed.”
Mindful living takes time, practice and patience. Mindful living my friends is a journey and not a final destination. We must be patient with ourselves, take the steering of our life in our own hands and lead ourselves towards mindful living .